See update at end of story
Living in Seattle, I don’t come across a lot of radio ads that make me giggle. But for the past few days I’ve been hearing one that has. And wouldn’t you know: It focuses on one of my favorite topics, Seattle weather.
The Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau is running its cheeky annual spring radio campaign trying to lure sun-starved Seattleites away from the Puget Sound. The pitch is hardly New To Seattle. But I think the Yakimanians, or Yakimaites, or whatever residents there call themselves, have a lot of material to work with.
A geography lesson for those not familiar with the region: Yakima sits on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains about 140 miles southeast from Seattle, which is on the west side. With peaks topping 14,000 feet–Lewis and Clark had trouble threading them–the Cascades keep away from the interior of Washington State much of the notorious cloudiness that cloaks Seattle and environs. So Yakima gets small amounts of rain and huge amounts of sun. That’s the exact opposite of Seattle, where vitamin D pills for the sun-deprived are fixtures of media advertising.
The Yakima ad spot is called “Lost and Found Spring.” After the jump, a transcript of the ad–and even better, a link to the actual audio.
RADIO SPOT (click here for audio, then follow along)
YAKIMA VALLEY VISITORS AND CONVENTION BUREAU
(Background of soft mischievous music)
FEMALE OPERATOR (in an extremely nasal New York voice): Hello. Lost and Found.
MALE CALLER (somewhat befuddled): Yeah, I’m hoping you can help me out.
CALLER: I lost … Spring.
OPERATOR: Spring. Like the season?
OPERATOR: Well, do you remember when you last saw it?
CALLER: (sighing sound) Ah, it’s been so long.
OPERATOR: Ahhhh, you must be calling from Seattle.
CALLER (in tone of amazement): How did you know?
OPERATOR: Well, we get that a lot. Let me see if I can track it down.
(Sound of typing on a computer keyboard)
OPERATOR: Spring, spring … Ah, there it is.
CALLER: You’re kidding. Where?
OPERATOR: The Yakima Valley.
CALLER: The Yakima Valley?
OPERATOR: When you lose spring in Seattle, it’s a good bet you’ll find it in the Yakima Valley.
(Background music changes to soft jazz)
VOICE-OVER MALE ANNOUNCER: Take all the things you love to do, add sunshine and a relaxed pace, and you’ve got the Yakima Valley. Just two quick hours east is the best wine country in the state. Which means wine tastings and gorgeous vineyards. Mountains, rivers, art, entertainment, shopping and more. All Fido friendly …
(Single dog bark)
ANNOUNCER: … and all of it sprinkled with beautiful sunshine.
CALLER: Ah, one more thing. I, I lost my sunglasses, too.
OPERATOR: Visit the Yakima Valley, hon. You won’t need them in Seattle.
ANNOUNCER: Find your lost spring, in the Yakima Valley. Go to Visit Yakima Valley dot org.
TRUTH-IN-ADVERTISING UPDATE ON APRIL 5: According to a story today on the Web site of the Yakima Herald-Republic, which mentions this post, it’s raining in the Yakima Valley and supposed to do so for awhile. The paper’s optimistic spin: “While visitors might be dismayed by wet weather forecast for the rest of this week, the sunshine is sure to return.” Of course, the same could be written about Seattle; it’s just a matter of timing. In any event, don’t look for the Yakimaniacs to pull the ad.